How could I possibly know that a decision I would make would also impact hundreds of women globally over the years to come?
The day began with a local trip to Hollywood California where I had agreed to be interviewed about becoming part of a network of women speakers who were bringing inspiration, motivation and empowerment to women all over the world.
That was how I met Gertrude.
Gertrude lives in Uganda East Africa and was preparing to host the group’s next women's conference. She connected with me via social media to ask if I would be traveling to Africa. She also asked me how she could obtain a copy of my book, Chocolate or Vanilla; Life Is All About Choices.
When I mentioned that my book is available on amazon.com she explained that on several occasions she had been referred to Amazon to purchase books but it doesn't work out easily when attempting to order from Uganda. It never occurred to me that something that is so readily available to me would not be so readily available to someone in another country. This was my first lesson from Gertrude.
She offered to send me the money to mail the book to her but instead, I offered to gift her several copies and we both waited as it took over six weeks for the books to arrive. This prompted my second revelation since meeting Gertrude; never again take the mail for granted.
Prior to receiving my book, Gertrude and I continued to get to know each other via social media and were learning what the other was doing to empower women in our area. I shared what I was doing with our women’s group, Strategic Partners, and she shared that she is the founding Director of Women and Girls Can Initiative based in Masaka Uganda. When she addressed me, she addressed me as "sister" and we made arrangements to Skype with each other.
This was my third lesson from Gertrude; never take the technology that is so readily available to us for granted because there are many people who have to work much harder to utilize technology. She also told me that she appreciates people who can donate any amount, be it advice, money, books, etc. as that is how she has been able to move to her current level of success with the women in her village.
After our first Skype session, Gertrude wrote the following to me: "It has been very lovely Skyping with you mama. I have been humbled to learn that you are of the same age with my mom. From today onward allow me to address you as mama. Let us keep in touch always mama as you pray for me to see that the upcoming women's summit I am preparing for the first time, becomes a success.
When Gertrude finally received the package with my books, she wrote me once again, "How are you mama? I am glad to inform you that I got the books yesterday evening and based on what I have so far read, it is very disappointing in some areas and encouraging in others. But it all sounds like an African story.
What happened to you is very common here only that mothers rarely become so hard to their children the way yours was! But the reason was clear. With your father it was very hurting in all circles. Thanks for being bold enough to share the not so sweet life experiences. We thought that such doesn't exist in countries such as yours, but the book is revealing a lot. I am continuing to read the book and I will write down my lessons from it. God bless."
"Mama, your family life was never bread and butter in all ways. Such living must have shaped your life in a very strong way. I am glad that the past helped you be what you are now and gone are days of suffering you were exposed to. May the Lord forgive all those that hurt you and your family members in all ways."
The next time I received a message from Gertrude, she wrote, "Dear Mama, Greetings to you, and your children. I need to send you my humble request. At Women and Girls Can Initiative, we are running a Women Self Help Fund and kindly I need to request you to allow us to name it after you, i.e Nancy Women's Self Help Fund. I am doing this in dedication to the divine connection, passion and love you have showed. This is the only way I feel I can have something to give and keep us together in action and thought. I will be very grateful when I get to hear from you Mama. Be blessed, Gertrude Nakintu"
Have you ever heard someone ask, "What can I do, I am only one person?" Gertrude and I are each "one person", however when we began to share our collective knowledge, we were able to teach each other from our own life experiences.
Gertrude thought that suffering was something that only the women in her village experienced. She believed that other parts of the world are free from pain and violence. My book taught her that women everywhere experience challenges in their life. It is not what happens to you but what you DO with what happens to you that shapes your life.
Gertrude is using the opportunities to learn from women all over the world to teach the women in her village to see past their limiting beliefs. Every generation of women has the opportunity to learn from the last to eliminate the limiting beliefs that have held us back and let go of the victim mentality that keeps us prisoners in our own minds. Every woman enters this world as the special gift that she is and when she realizes her true potential, nothing can stop her from living her passion and adding to the collective energy of every woman she meets.
One woman CAN make a difference. When more than one woman gathers at any event, whether it be in person or virtually, she adds to the collective knowledge of each woman present.
Yours In Health,
Serving Women Globally
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